• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The difference of tactics in Vietnam played an important part in the victory of the Vietcong over the far superior United States.

Extracts from this document...


The difference of tactics in Vietnam played an important part in the victory of the Vietcong over the far superior United States. The Vietcong used guerrilla warfare, a form of fighting with the aim to hinder the opposing force. This form of fighting dates back to Sun Tzu a Chinese military strategist who lived over 2000 years ago, he believed that all warfare involves the employing of ones strength to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy. Guerrilla warfare was also successfully adopted by Mao Zedong the leader of the communist's forces in China. The USA were used to conventional warfare, in the form of bouts of fighting, guerrilla warfare ment they had to be constantly alert, for which they were not adequately trained. The strategy and tactics used by the Vietcong were based on those used by Mao Zedong, One important feature was the use of small groups of soldiers called cells. The cells worked together but knowledge of other cells was kept to a minimum, to lower the damage done to the organisation as a whole if one soldier was captured and tortured. The US troops began to use the 'search and destroy tactic' from 1965 to try and find members of theses cells and kill them. ...read more.


Vietcong began fighting with primitive weapons and booby traps to try and injure the American troops; there were many different types of mines and bamboo staves which they used, one of the most feared was the 'Bouncing Betty'. These traps killed inexperienced soldiers and put the rest of the troops on edge. The Vietcong's considerable knowledge of the local environment also proved to be extremely useful in the war. They could successfully launch ambushes against small groups of American troops, which again proved to be extremely effective in putting the Americans on edge, every time they were in Vietnam. The Vietcong were told not to into combat unless it outnumbered the enemy and was certain of winning. It therefore concentrated its attacks on poorly guarded government positions theses were referred to as 'soft targets'; it often used night attacks to increase the possibility of success. The Vietcong began to collect more and more advanced weapons from the Americans, survey taken by the US army discovered that about 90% of Vietcong weapons captured once belonged to the Americans or ARVN. On the other hand, the US fought from the beginning with some of the most advanced weapons in the world. ...read more.


Other chemicals used destroyed crops with the aim of starving the Vietcong, but it was later discovered that the poor crops affected the poor peasants far more, this again made the USA unpopular. The USA believed that with all this modern technology they could not be defeated by a "Raggedy a*s 4th rate country" But the Vietcong had many advantages, another of these was the easy movement they had from North Vietnam to and throughout South Vietnam, this was as a result of the Ho Chi Minh trail. This was a complex web of jungle paths with base camps at regular intervals along it, it let soldiers travel from North Vietnam to Saigon in six weeks, it is estimated that the Vietcong received sixty tons of aid per day from the Ho Chi Minh trail. The USA quickly saw the superiority this gave the Vietcong and tried to stop its use. As the trail could not be seen by air it could not be successfully bombed, so the US decided to build the 'McNamara Line', a large barrier of barbed wire and minefield that crossed South Vietnam. Due to repeated attacks by enemy forces during its construction the plan was abandoned in 1967, the Vietcong was left with its advantage of quick supplies from North Vietnam. Another advantage of the Vietcong was its many elaborate Tunnel complexes throughout South Vietnam. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    The source is from Great Battles of the First World War and was published in 1989. Anthony Livesey had no motive or any reason to be biased, so I would say this source is probably reliable. The source states an opinion about Haig but it does not explain or give any evidence to tell us why Livesey has this opinion.

  2. Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

    to de-stabilise the south in order to 'fight back' against Diem's suppression. In early 1960, South Vietnamese officials were being targeted - later in that year, the National Liberation Front (NLF) was created and this had broad appeal to middle-class peoples as well as the poorer peasants.

  1. How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an ...

    However, as the media was part of the continuing anti-war movement, this photo could in fact show only one incident that ever occurred but was highlighted for additional emphasis to their campaign - given the accounts of citizens and U.S.

  2. Did The Power Of Television Force The United States To Leave Vietnam

    From this source it can be seen as being biased. This is because in the article, it states how an American soldier is talking and criticising the conduct in Vietnam from only just one point of view from a soldier.

  1. How useful are sources A to C in helping to explain why the United ...

    Also President Lyndon Johnson wasn't as appealing in terms of looks and status compared to Kennedy and therefore needed to try harder to get his voice heard. The speech contains biblical influence meaning it gives reference to the bible to influence the American public.

  2. Why the United States withdrew its troops from Vietnam in 1973

    night to catch them off thir guard.The development of thousands of different routes around the countryside was also essential to the Vietcong for moving equipment,weapons, food and men around the country. The most famous of these routes was the Ho Chi Minh Trail running from North Vietnam to the South.

  1. Did the power of television force the US to leave Vietnam?

    Therefore the Vietnamese peasants saw the Americans as the bad people and the Vietcong as the good people. The poster also portrays the Americans as being weak and unskilled and this would definitely also influence the thoughts of the communist audience the poster was intended to target.

  2. Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in ...

    like heavy artillery and explosives captured from the Americans, rather than the old daggers and swords used in earlier tactics. They were also supplied weapons by China and the USSR. The guerrillas also started to use booby traps of sharpened bamboo staves, mines, grenades, and artillery shells against the US, which put the American soldiers through h**l.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work